A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, November 14, 2021 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the “This Week” transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC “THIS WEEK” ANCHOR (voice-over): Inflation spike.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many people remain unsettled about the economy. They see higher prices, when they go to the store or go online, and they can’t find what they always want.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Biden promises to bring those prices down, as the next battle for his economic agenda begins.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The American people said — basically said last Tuesday, stop. Enough is enough.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Let’s move along and get this thing done, so that we can move on to other important issues.
STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, tough marks for the administration in our brand-new ABC News/”Washington Post” poll.
Will take it all the top Biden economic adviser Brian Deese and the GOP response from Conference Chair Senator John Barrasso.
ABC News exclusive.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I still like him, but I don’t know that I can forgive him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Former President Trump unloads on Mike Pence, as the Justice Department indicts his ally Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress.
Exclusive new reporting from chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, plus analysis from our roundtable.
DAVID BRINKLEY, ABC NEWS: First, a little news since the Sunday morning papers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: This week celebrates our 40th anniversary.
BRINKLEY: We have a new Sunday program for you, which we hope you will find useful.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A look back at four decades of newsmaking moments.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, this is a special edition of “This Week” celebrating 40 years.
Here now, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to “This Week.”
We’re coming on the air this morning with a brand-new poll, and it’s brutal for President Biden. His approval rating has hit a new low. Only 41 percent of Americans think he’s doing a good job in office; 53 percent disapprove; 70 percent believe the economy is in bad shape.
And with inflation at a three-decade high, only 39 percent approve of Biden’s handling of the economy.
Looking ahead to the midterm elections, Republicans have a 10-point lead among registered voters, their largest lead ever in the 40-year history of our poll.
One bright spot for the president, his core policies are popular; 63 percent support the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill he is going to sign into law tomorrow, and 58 percent support the $2 trillion social investment-climate initiative he’s pushing for right now.
And we begin this morning with the head of the National Economic Council at the White House, Brian Deese.
Brian, thank you for joining us this morning.
Let’s begin with inflation. It’s pretty clear those inflation numbers are driving discontent with the economy. What, if anything, can the president do about it?
BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, inflation is high, and it’s affecting Americans in their pocketbook and their outlook.
But that concern actually underscores why it’s so important to move forward on the Build Back Better bill that Congress is considering.
This bill is actually going to address the core costs that American families are facing in child care, in housing, in health care. It will cut the cost of child care by more than half for most working families. It will build new housing all around the country to let people find new opportunities to find jobs and live in an affordable way. And it’ll do it all while being fully paid for.
And this is important. Far from adding to inflation concerns, this bill will do the opposite. Because it’s fully paid for, it doesn’t add aggregate demand to the economy. It makes these investments while actually offsetting them by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. In fact, it will reduce the deficit over the long term.
So, we have a fully paid for plan to go directly at the costs that typical Americans are facing, increase the productive capacity of our economy. This is what Americans are looking for. They’re looking for…
DEESE: … us to deliver on the things that matter most to their lives.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I know you’re hoping to pass it, but even if it does pass, it’s going to take a while for the benefits to kick in.
So, what can Americans expect in the short term? Is inflation going to get worse before it gets better? Is there anything President Biden can do in the short term?
DEESE: We’re focused on how to address this in the short term and the medium term, George.
In the short term, number one, we have to finish the job on COVID. We know that the more that people feel comfortable getting out into the economy, going to movies, rather than buying a television at home, working in the workplace, the more we can return a sense of normalcy to our economy.
Getting those shots out for 5-to-11-year-olds is going to provide a lot of comfort to American families. We’re making a lot of progress on that front. Getting more workplaces COVID-free is going to make more Americans comfortable getting back into the labor market as well.
The second thing we can do right now is focus on these supply chain issues. Right now, the American economy is moving more goods through the economy than we ever have. But that’s creating some challenges.
We’re working with the ports in L.A. and Long Beach, getting them to go 24/7, and getting right to work in implementing this historic infrastructure bill.
On Monday the president will sign this bill into law. It’s the first time that a president is actually delivering on a bipartisan infrastructure bill. And while a number of those pieces will be longer term, there are things that will go into effect right away to try to get money out to help, for example, upgrade our ports, upgrade our airports, upgrade our roads. We’re going to work without delay to get that money working for the American people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, our next guest is Senator John Barrasso. He’s expressed a view of an overwhelming majority of Republicans of the Build Back Better plan is going to actually fuel inflation. He calls it a socialist agenda and a socialist budget. Your response?
DEESE: It’s quite the opposite. Look, every serious economist that has looked at this proposal has said that it will not add to long term inflationary pressure. Seventeen Nobel Prize-winning economists said the same. And the reason is because it’s paid for.
We haven’t fully paid for a bill in Washington for some time. Senator Barrasso and his colleagues in the prior administration passed $2 trillion in tax cuts fully unpaid for, added to the deficit. Here what we’re doing is making smart long term investments but offsetting those with tax increases. When you do that, a fully paid for, you actually reduce the deficit over the long term.
You don’t impact inflation. What you do is you actually increase the productive capacity of our economy. You get more people to work by providing affordable childcare and affordable care for an elderly parent.
That’s what this —
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say it’s —
DEESE: — bill will do. And we —
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say it’s fully paid for but the Congressional Budget Office still hasn’t weighed in and certified that it actually is fully paid for and you’ve got several moderates in both the House and the Senate Democrats who say they’re not going to vote for the bill until they’re confident that the CBO says it is fully paid for.
Are you confident the CBO is going to back your judgment?
DEESE: We’re confident this bill, as it moves through the process, is going to be fully paid for. And not only that, it’s actually going to reduce deficits over the long term. We’ve already seen the independent Joint Committee on Taxation, as well as the Treasury Department, look at the tax components of this bill and say not only are they enough to offset the investments in this package, but actually over the long term they will reduce the deficit by trillions of dollars because we’re making permanent changes to the tax code.
We’re actually going to address the fact that right now profitable companies in America can pay nothing in taxes. We’re going to put a minimum tax in place, 15 percent, that all corporations have to pay.
We’re going to address the fact that today there’s an affirmative (inaudible) for companies to move production and profits overseas to try to find lower tax opportunities. By putting a global tax system in place, we’re not only going to generate revenue to invest in things like childcare and preschool, but we’re also going to encourage more investment here in the United States. When you do that for the long term, you generate revenue that will reduce deficits across time.
So we’re confident that we’ll get that done. And frankly, it’s been some time in Washington since we’ve done something that’s fiscally responsible. This is the process. We write a bill, the Joint Committee on Taxation passes judgment — which they already have publicly — the Congressional Budget Office will provide additional information this week.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s —
DEESE: We’re confident that that’ll be sufficient to get this through the House.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s not just Republicans concerned about inflation. Of course, Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, here the key vote on this bill, is also concerned about inflation, seemed to suggest this week that the bill should be put off until next year because of those concerns.
I know you were hoping for a vote this week. Is that still going to happen? What are the consequences of moving it into next year?
DEESE: We’re confident that this bill is going to come up in the House this week. It will get a vote, it will pass, and it will move on to the Senate. And those concerns, which we understand and we share, those concerns actually underscore why we need to move out on this bill.
We want to improve the productive capacity of our economy, which will actually reduce price pressures. We want to get more people to work, which will actually reduce price pressures. The provisions in this bill have the strong support of independent experts.
You look at something like universal preschool, you know George, economists for decades have been saying there’s probably no single investment that could do more to improve the productive capacity of our workforce than investing in universal preschool. This bill would do that.
Childcare, we know that 2 million women have had to come out of the workforce as a result of COVID and this pandemic. By providing affordable childcare, affordable elder care, we’re going to help get those people back into the workforce, which will reduce price pressures while also reducing the practical (ph) costs that Americans face.
That’s what this bill will do. That’s the case we’re going to make and that’s the case why delivering right now for the American people is the right thing to do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Brian Deese, thanks for your time this morning.
DEESE: Thanks, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get the GOP response now from the Chair of the Republican Conference, Senator John Barrasso. Senator Barrasso, thank you for joining us this morning.
You heard Brian Deese right there on the Build Back Better plan. He says it’s fully paid for. It’s not going to reduce the deficit, and 17 Nobel laureates back the White House judgment that it’s not going to increase inflation.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Well, first, happy anniversary. I started watching with David Brinkley and continue to watch today.
And in response to what the president’s adviser said here — look, the American people have given this president failing grades across the board on his first quarter report card, failing because of high costs and prices, failing because of an overrun border, failing because of the tragedy and the failure in Afghanistan.
So, only one in five Americans think the country is heading in the right direction. And no matter what bill the president happens to sign tomorrow, that’s not going to change the failing grades.
The problem is the Democrats are now saying we want to go all in with this massive tax and spending bill, which is going to harm American families. People are going to pay higher prices. They’re going to be higher taxes and, of course, we’re going to see an increase in the debt.
So Republicans are heading in the right direction. The Democrats are full speed ahead against the ideas of what the American people want, and even Jason Furman who was President Obama’s economic adviser, he said what they’re proposing here will add to inflation in 2022.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The tax increases are almost solely to millionaires and the White House says that the Nobel laureates believe that it will not increase inflation. What evidence do you have that it will?
BARRASSO: Well, there are a couple of things, and let’s start with — this is not really just $2 trillion. I think it’s much closer to $4 trillion because what the Democrats have added in after their election losses has been tax breaks for millionaires.
This is not just me saying it. The experts are saying with what is in this bill, and Americans, the more they find out about it, the less they like it — specifically all the new IRS agents who are going to be hired, an army of IRS agents to do more audits. The experts are telling us that 30 percent of middle class Americans will end up paying higher taxes and what Nancy Pelosi has shoved in, the special tax breaks for millionaires in California, New York, New Jersey, that is actually going to give a tax break to two-thirds of the millionaires in America.
The reason I think prices are going to go way up is because of some of the things that they have put into the bill on energy and on climate which are going to raise energy costs considerably in the year ahead, at a time when the American people are already paying sky-high prices to heat their homes, to drive their cars, to buy groceries, and inflation as we know hurts the most vulnerable.
Who gets hurt with inflation? It’s the poor people, the people living on a fixed income. It’s the elderly. It’s all of these folks struggling to get by. I would have never believed that Joe Biden in just ten months in the presidency could bring us to a 30-year high of inflation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the infrastructure bill he’s going to sign into law tomorrow, bipartisan infrastructure bill. The White House has put out a fact sheet showing the benefits to your state of Wyoming. I want to show it to our audience right now.
They say $1.8 billion for highways, $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs, $100 million for broadband, $335 million for water infrastructure, and $72 million for airports.
Why did you vote against a bill that provides so many benefits to your state?
BARRASSO: Well, you know, I was one of the original negotiators at the White House with President Biden, and ultimately, I voted against it because they did use a lot of budget gimmicks and they are adding $256 billion to the debt, and some of the issues in there in terms of energy I think is going to make energy even more expensive, and I think it’s going to make the grid less reliable.
And then, of course, the big thing is they handcuffed this infrastructure bill to this big, massive tax and spending bill, which every Republican is united in our efforts to drive a stake through the heart of this effort which the Democrats are pushing because they are so addicted to taxing and spending.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, I want to ask you about President Trump. As you know, Jon Karl, our chief Washington correspondent, had an interview with President Trump he released this week where the president seems to defend those who were saying “hang Mike Pence” on January 6th. I want to show it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JON KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: No. I thought he was well-protected and I had heard that he was in good shape.
KARL: Because you heard those chants. That was terrible. I mean, you know, those —
TRUMP: He could have — well, the people were very angry.
KARL: They were saying “hang Mike Pence”.
TRUMP: Because it’s common sense — how can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: So he says, hang Mike Pence is common sense.
Can your party tolerate a leader who defends murderous chants against his own vice president?
BARRASSO: Well — well, let me just say, the Republican Party is incredibly united right now and it’s because of the policies of this administration. And I think the more that the Democrats and the press becomes obsessed with President Trump, I think the better it is for the Republican Party. President Trump brings lots of energy to the party. He’s an enduring force.
But elections are about the future, not the past. And that’s what we saw in Virginia and all across the country. And the Republican policies and the Trump policies of a strong economy and American energy, not begging Vladimir Putin to produce more oil, which is what Joe Biden is doing, those are policies that we’re going to continue to run on in the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you have no problem with the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense?
BARRASSO: I was with Mike Pence in the Senate chamber during January 6th. And what happened was they quickly got Vice President Pence out of there, certainly a lot faster than they removed the senators. I believed he was safe the whole time. I didn’t hear any of those chants. I don’t believe that he did either. And Vice President Pence came back into the chamber that night and certified the election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we just played the chants. I’m asking if you — if you believe — if you can tolerate the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense?
BARRASSO: It’s — it’s not common sense. There are issues of every election. I voted to certify the election. And what we have seen on this election, there are areas that needed to be looked into, like what we saw in Pennsylvania. We all want fair and free elections. That’s where we need to go for the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’re not going to criticize President Trump for those views?
BARRASSO: I don’t agree with President Trump on everything. I agree with him on the policies that have brought us the best economy in our — my lifetime. And I’m going to continue to support those policies and continuing to work to stop what Joe Biden is doing to this country, which I believe is almost irreversibly bad.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Barrasso, thanks for your time this morning.
BARRASSO: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl is next. We’ll be right back.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: You can’t spend almost five years in a political foxhole without somebody — without — without developing a strong relationship. And, you know, January 6th was a tragic day in the history of our Capitol building. And the president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it.
I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the latest take from Mike Pence on the January 6th insurrection and his relationship with Donald Trump, a take somewhat at odds with what John Karl is reporting in his new book “Betrayal.” Here’s an exclusive first look at new details of the pressure campaign against Pence and the former president’s take on what his vice president was facing that day.
KARL (voice over): Two days before that fateful moment on January 6th, when Mike Pence defied President Trump for the one and only time as vice president, Pence sounded for a moment like he might just join Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
PENCE: I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities. And I promise you, come this Wednesday, we’ll have our day in Congress.
KARL: That was at a campaign rally in Georgia on January 4th, and the crowd loved it. For several days, Pence had been facing even more pressure than previously known to use his role as the presiding officer on January 6th to singlehandedly overturn the election.
As reported for the first time in “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows played a pivotal role in the pressure campaign on Pence, sending his top aide an e-mail on New Year’s Eve, outlining the scheme.
Written by the Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, the memo called for Pence to send back electoral votes to six states won by Joe Biden, leaving neither Biden nor Trump with a majority and putting the outcome in the hands of the Republican-controlled House.
The next day Trump’s fiercely loyal 30-year-old aide Johnny McEntee sent another memo to Pence’s chief of staff, titled “Jefferson Used His Position As VP to Win.”
It was historically wrong, but McEntee’s message was clear: Jefferson did it, and Pence must do the same.
During a series of meetings over the coming days, Trump tried to turn the screws on Pence. On the evening of January 4th, he went public with his demand.
TRUMP: And I hope Mike Pence comes through for us. He’s a great guy.
Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.
KARL: It had been reported back in January by the New York Times that Trump even pressured Pence on the morning of January 6th with a crude phone call.
When I interviewed Trump for “Betrayal,” I asked him about that.
There was a report — and excuse my language…
TRUMP: Go ahead.
KARL: … not mine — it was in the report…
KARL: … that you talked to him that morning and you said, “You can be a patriot or you can be a (bleep). Did you really say that or is that — or is that an incorrect…
TRUMP: I wouldn’t dispute it.
TRUMP: I wouldn’t dispute it.
KARL: And when he stepped on the stage at his rally just before his supporters stormed the Capitol, Trump directed his and their anger toward Pence.
TRUMP: If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. If he doesn’t, that will be a — a sad day for our country.
KARL: Pence did the right thing. He defied Trump when it mattered most, igniting the fury of the rioters.
(CROWD CHANTING “HANG MIKE PENCE!”)
KARL: One of the many unbelievable things about that day is that, as the Capitol was evacuated and rioters called for Pence’s death, Trump never bothered to check on his safety.
I asked the former president about that. Rather than condemning the chants to hang his vice president, Trump seemed to justify them.
KARL: Were you worried about him during that — that siege?
Were you worried about his safety?
TRUMP: No, I thought he was well-protected. And I — I had heard that he was in good shape.
KARL: Because you heard those chants. That was terrible. I mean, those — you know, the…
TRUMP: He could have — well, the people were very angry.
KARL: They were saying “Hang Mike Pence.”
TRUMP: Because it’s — it’s common sense. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?
KARL: He went on to talk at length about how it was, quote, “common sense” that Pence should have acted to overturn the election.
If Pence did what you wanted, you think you would still be in the White House?
TRUMP: I think we would have won, yeah.
KARL: Can you ever forgive him for that?
TRUMP: I don’t know, because I picked him. I like him. I still like him. But I don’t know that I can forgive him.
KARL: Angry and bitter in defeat, this is what Trump said when I asked him about his list of potential running mates if he were to run again.
I mean, I assume Pence is no longer on that list.
TRUMP: Well, I didn’t say that. But…
KARL: But, I mean, I can assume that, can’t I?
TRUMP: But — he did the wrong thing. He’s a very nice man. I like him a lot.
TRUMP: I like his family much.
But he did — he did — it was a terrible — it was a tragic mistake.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KARL: There’s no response to any of this from Mike Pence yet.
But, George, the real question is the one that you asked just now of Senator Barrasso to Republican leaders and to Republican rank-and-file voters, as Donald Trump is very clearly suggesting that he is planning to run or at least strongly considering running for president again.
Can those Republicans support somebody who defended rioters calling for the execution of his former vice president? That’s the question for every Republican leader now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you saw Senator Barrasso certainly didn’t want to criticize it.
Meantime, you report on that that Ellis memo to Mark Meadows, presumably one of the documents that is caught up in this executive privilege fight right now that is going to the courts that Donald Trump wants to shield.
And Mark Meadows now could be facing the same fate as Steve Bannon, being held in contempt of Congress.
KARL: The committee sure suggested that they’re going to consider holding him in contempt. I’m sure Meadows is watching very closely what happens to Bannon.
But this was a — this is a very important document, George, on New Year’s Eve. It is from the — from Meadows himself forwarded to Mike Pence’s chief of staff, and it outlines in very clear detail what should be done on January 6 to effectively overturn the election, to effectively have a coup.
This is Mark Meadows forwarding a memo not from an outside lawyer, but from a lawyer for the campaign, Jenna Ellis.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl, thanks very much.
“Betrayal” is out this week.
And the roundtable is next. We will be right back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: This roundtable has already started, but we’re going to have to take a quick break.
And we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Bannon and now Meadow appear to believe that they’re above the law, that the law doesn’t apply to them. That’s not the case, and I’m glad that the Department of Justice reviewed the facts and the law.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: There’s a different standard of justice in this country. These agencies are almost becoming the enforcement arm of the Democrat Party. That is not a good position to be in for a country that’s supposed to be dedicated to the rule of law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Steve Bannon indicted for contempt of Congress this week. Is Mark meadows next? One of the things we’re going to talk about in the roundtable.
Let’s bring in Chris Christie. He’s also out with a new book this week called “Republican Rescue.” It’s right here. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, former Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Jane Coaston, host of “The New York Times” podcast, “The Argument.”
I do want to get to this executive privilege and the contempt of Congress fight, but, Donna, let’s begin with our new poll, and political winds facing President Biden right now. Highest disapproval of his presidency, 70 percent of the country discontented with the economy right now. You heard Senator John Barrasso talk about the number of Americans thinking we’re on the wrong track.
DONNA BRAZILE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, George, when I looked at a poll, I thought what a young Donna would do. And that — that was clearly to go back home and go to sleep and wait for it to be over with.
But you know what? I hope this is exactly what need at this turn in the Biden/Harris presidency. Three hundred fifty-nine days before the midterm. This president has had to deal with multiple crises over the last nine months. He’s handled some of them very well, some not so well.
The American people are tired. They’re frustrated. They don’t like hearing that a bill that is supposed to help the working class, the middle class, working families. It’s now a social spending bill, a reconciliation bill. It goes like this — right over their heads.
I’m not as alarmed about this poll. What I’m alarmed about is that Democrats are going to look at this and go back to work tomorrow morning and still haggle over the details of helping ordinary citizens get back on their feet.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well — and, Chris, as I said at the top of the program, one of the bright spots in the poll for the president is that those policies, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better plan, are popular, majority support.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Here’s the problem for him though, is always the most election, right? So, the midterms of 2022, right now the Democrats went from plus 12 among independents in 2018 to minus 18 among independents in our poll, and no matter what anybody wants to talk about, we learned in 2018 and in 2020, it’s those independents that determine the swing elections.
They’re not going to determine them in the deep red or deep blue districts. But in the swing districts, and swing the independents determine who’s going to win. They elected Joe Biden in 2020, and right now, the Democrats are deeply underwater with those independents, and I think it’s because, George, he is not governing as he campaigned.
He campaigned to be a uniter, a moderator, normalcy, and yet he’s gone way left and the voters —
STEPHANOPOULOS: A bipartisan infrastructure bill he’s signing into law tomorrow. It’s —
CHRISTIE: Look, I think that’s — and I — you know, and I, you know, 19 Republicans supported in the Senate, I think that’s a good thing. But the fact is his rhetoric and most of his actions have been to the left and the voters are responding to that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Heidi, Chris Christie talks about the independents. One of the big alarm bells for Democrats in this poll are a 10-point margin for Republicans looking ahead to those midterms.
HEITKAMP: I know. First time ever in the history of your poll. Why should this surprise anyone? We’ve spent nine months beating up to on each other. And you saw it again this morning. You have somebody on to talk about the policies, which are popular, of this administration, and it’s blah blah blah, economics this and economics that.
Guess what, I would have asked John Barrasso, why do you think health care is not a problem? Why do you think day care is not a problem? Why do you think that people are — feel overwhelmed when they have children and they’re trying to earn a living? And why are you opposed to helping those families?
And when we can start recognizing that the — that the true challenge that we have is drawing the distinction between Democrats and Republicans, and what we’re going to do for working families and what they refuse to do for working families, we’re going to continue to see these numbers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t think that’s what the White House has been doing?
HEITKAMP: No. I think that they talk about this number and that number and this economics. If I had been out there today, I would have said, look, the biggest driver of inflation right now is energy costs. This is what we’re going to do to lower energy costs today. You asked a very important question, which was, what are you going to do today to solve this problem. And a lot of it was blah blah blah, we’re going to cure COVID. Well, yes, you have to do that, but why not open up the strategic reserves today and lower oil prices? Why not do the things that are immediate today that people say, yes, they got it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jane, inflation clearly is a problem, but, overall, the economy is doing pretty well, which seems at odds with 70 percent being discontented.
COASTON: Well, I think that the economy doing well for whom is the real question. We saw this under the Trump administration. We’ve seen this before, where the stock market will reach record highs and then you see people out in the streets who are, like, the stock market means nothing to me if I can’t make it or if I can’t make it as a single mom or things are really expensive.
Let’s keep in mind that we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and I think that that also influences how you’re thinking about spending. We’re going to see rising COVID numbers as winter comes, as we saw last year. And so I think that what the economy looks like — and we saw this under Trump as well. I remember back in 2015/2016 in which Trump would use — we saw the connection between how he thought about the stock market and how he thought about the economy. Those aren’t the same thing for a lot of people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They’re not, but don’t workers have more leverage than they’ve had in years?
COASTON: Which is why they’re walking away from their jobs, which I think is something that we — we haven’t really spent a lot of time talking about because I think that when the left talks about labor movements, people, for some reason, tune out, but we’re seeing massive strikes going on at John Deere, we’re seeing massive strikes going on at businesses across the country. We’re seeing workers saying, like, this is the time to take a stand. But we have to ask, why are they doing that? Why are workers deciding that now is the moment when they need — they can, one, find something better, but also, what they have right now isn’t working for them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Chris, one of the things the White House is counting on, that if they are able to pass this bipartisan — well, it’s the bipartisan infrastructure bill takes hold, and if they are able to pass Build Back Better, the economy will show more benefits across the board by the midterms.
CHRISTIE: See, the problem, George, is that — let me give you a couple of examples of what normal people really care about. I mean, first, they go to the gas station, and as much as the Biden administration is against fossil fuels, until further notice we’re going to be using them. And they reason they don’t open up the strategic reserves is because they don’t want to expose themselves on the far left green flank. And so they don’t want to do that because that would be encouraging fossil fuels, God forbid. So they go to the gas station and the prices are way too high.
I will tell you something, my wife just told me three days ago. She walked in from the supermarket and she picked up a big pack of toilet paper and she said to me, do you know how much this costs me today? $29. $29.
BRAZILE: Did so go to Costco?
CHRISTIE: She wasn’t at Costco. She was at the supermarket.
But here’s the thing, normal people who go out there and they see they’re paying $29 for that, guess who they’re blaming? They’re blaming Joe Biden.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s those supply chain issues.
BRAZILE: Oh, God, inflation has been going up for the last three years. I go to — I go to Safeway —
CHRISTIE: Come on, Donna.
BRAZILE: I go — look, look, you’ve got to be —
CHRISTIE: Not 6 percent (ph).
BRAZILE: Look, you — you’ve got to be smart when you go out and shop today, OK, whether you’re looking for Jiffy cornbread, which used to be three for $1 and it went up to 87 cents, or if you’re buying gas. And if you’re buying it in the inner city, it’s 10 cents more than if you go out just further out.
George, the pain —
CHRISTIE: Well, is that — wait, is that the Democratic slogan?
CHRISTIE: We’re going to raise your prices, but be smart about it. It could be a little bit less?
BRAZILE: No, where your — you mentioned Mary Pat —
CHRISTIE: Run on that.
BRAZILE: You mentioned Mary Pat.
BRAZILE: I’m just telling you my experience with shopping. You’ve got to be a smart shopper. My mom had nine children and she always said, you had to make grocery (ph).
Look, George, the bottom line is tomorrow Joe Biden will sign a very historic piece of legislation. I pray and hope that in addition to giving a pen to Nancy and to Chuck and Manchin that he give it to Bill Cassidy and those 13 Republicans in the House who are now facing death threats because they want to fix their roads, they want to fix their bridges and they want broadband for their kids.
HEITKAMP: Yes. I mean, all of this, there is an emergency the Democratic Party has right now. And that’s to respond to it.
You talk about supply chains. That’s something that started with tariffs. It started with horrible tax and trade policies of the past administration. But you have to deal with it today. And a lot of these costs are driven by high energy costs.
You know, when you transport a bundle of toilet paper, it costs a lot of money, when gas prices and oil prices and diesel prices are increased. It’s going to take a while to transition.
You’ve got to say something today that people nod their head and say, “Yep, you get it. You understand my problem.”
COASTON: The problem with that, I would argue, though, is that a lot of the tariff messaging from the Trump administration Biden has kept on. Because, regrettably, the tariffs that are causing a lot of these supply chain issues, they sound amazing.
Doesn’t it sound great that we’re going to focus on American industry?
You hear that from, kind of, the populist wing of the Republican Party. The problem is that’s how you get here.
HEITKAMP: Yeah. And they’re finding out that this — this global economy has actually reduced consumer prices. And when you disrupt the global economy, you increase consumer prices.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to turn to the January 6 committee.
Chris, Donna mentioned those threats of violence against Republicans who voted for the president’s infrastructure plan.
We just saw President Trump with Jon Karl, right there. How big a problem is this now for the Republican Party, as — as we have this executive privilege fight, as we have Steve Bannon held in contempt?
CHRISTIE: It’s up to the leaders of the party to choose how big a — big a problem they want to make it.
Look, I don’t think it’s — it’s radical for Republicans to say that we should not be in favor of saying it’s common sense for people to chant “Hang the vice president of the United States.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw Senator Barrasso right there.
CHRISTIE: Well, then I’m — and I am — and I am openly disagreeing, George.
And I think it’s the wrong thing to do.
Look, we’ve got to decide as a Republican Party, are we going to talk about tomorrow? Are we going to talk about the challenges that Heidi is raising here, very aptly, or are we going to continue to look backwards?
And we can’t continue to do that if we want to be a winning party. Fact is — and President Trump cannot continue to be a strong influence on the broad part of this party if, a year from now, he’s still talking about 2020.
COASTON: But he will be. He will be talking about 2020.
CHRISTIE: And, Jane, that’s — that’s — that’s fine. And I didn’t say he wouldn’t be.
COASTON: He can’t quit it.
CHRISTIE: What I said was he is not going to be a continuing influence on the broad part of this party if he does.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think it won’t work, over time, for the president?
CHRISTIE: It will not work for him over time, George, because the American people move on. They can’t buy gasoline. Why isn’t he talking about that? Why isn’t he talking about the $29 toilet paper? Why isn’t he talking about the failures of the administration that succeeded him?
Then he could be a positive influence on the debate going forward. But all he wants to do is talk about himself and go backwards. That’s why I don’t want to talk about it.
CHRISTIE: What I want to talk about is the stuff that Heidi and Donna are gallantly trying to defend and deflect this morning.
COASTON: But I think that what we’ve seen recently is that, even if, you know, Donald Trump doesn’t want to move on — and then we’ve seen, I think — I saw a great joke on Twitter earlier today, which is a rare thing to see, but that someone was saying, like, “Well, it’s really too bad that the Republicans can’t run “generic Republican in 2022 or 2024. What they’re going to run is someone who’s going to pay fealty even not to just Donald Trump but to the conceit of Trumpism.”
CHRISTIE: That’s your — that’s your wish. That’s your wish, but it’s not necessarily going to be the truth.
COASTON: Isn’t that your wish?
CHRISTIE: No, it’s not my wish.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not his.
COASTON: Aren’t we just having dueling wishes?
CHRISTIE: No, it’s not my wish. What we’re seeing — what we saw in Virginia and what we saw in New Jersey were two candidates that affirmatively said, “We don’t want Donald Trump to come here and campaign for us” — affirmatively said it.
Now, if I told you that a year ago, nobody would have believed me. And everybody wants instant gratification in this society.
HEITKAMP: Chris — Chris…
CHRISTIE: It’s been nine months.
HEITKAMP: The Republican Party can’t quit Trump. He brought — he brought…
CHRISTIE: Keep pushing it. Keep pushing it, Heidi.
HEITKAMP: … our base, which is working-class white people, to your party. They can’t risk alienating them.
You saw Barrasso trying to parse that. “Well, we’ve got to move to the future, but, you know, we really appreciate the president.”
Hello. Come on. You can’t quit him because he brings too many people to the party.
BRAZILE: Let’s bring it back to ground zero. Tomorrow morning, Mr. Bannon is going to be marching to court. He’s indicted. And I hope it sends a message to Mr. Meadows and others who are trying to not cooperate with the January 6 committee. That’s number one.
Number two, Chris, I’ve been waiting for a long time to say this to you. I studied this. After the Cold War, we’ve seen over 42 million new jobs created, 40 million under Democrats. Democrats deliver. We deliver. We deliver on the economy. We deliver for the working class, for the middle class, for the poor. And Republicans complain.
We’re about to spend $8 trillion over the next 10 years on the military — $8 trillion.
No one is arguing, Heidi, about how to pay for it. Instead we’re arguing about pre-K and universal health care.
HEITKAMP: Yeah, Donna, my concern about what you just said is, it’s all true.
Why do working-class people not like us? That’s the challenge. The challenge is, you deliver…
BRAZILE: They love the music, but hate the band.
HEITKAMP: Right, but you deliver, and you say, look what we have done.
HEITKAMP: We are bad at messaging. We are bad at focusing on who is actually the opposition.
And it’s not other people with different opinions in our own party. It is the opposition party. And I won’t call them the enemy.
BRAZILE: That’s correct.
HEITKAMP: But it’s the opposition party.
It’s talking about day care and why John Barrasso doesn’t want families to have reduced day care costs.
CHRISTIE: Listen, Donna, you have — the Democratic Party has delivered 6 percent inflation.
The Democratic Party has delivered disgrace in Afghanistan. The Democratic has — Party has delivered a porous border in the South. And if you want to know why working people don’t like you, that’s why.
BRAZILE: Seven million jobs this year.
CHRISTIE: It’s no more complicated than that. Donna…
BRAZILE: A GDP that is at 5 percent.
CHRISTIE: Donna, keep singing.
BRAZILE: I understand.
CHRISTIE: Everybody’s leaving the concert.
BRAZILE: Yes, because you don’t want to talk about the fact that Democrats believe in helping everyday, ordinary people.
Chris, look, I don’t care what you…
CHRISTIE: I know they say they believe that, Donna. I know they say they believe that, but guess what? They — the working people don’t believe it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the last word right now.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WILL, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: For 40 years, two generations of Americans have been enjoying “This Week.” Two generations more, 2061, I can hardly wait. Congratulations to everybody at “This Week.”
SAM DONALDSON, ABC NEWS: Forty years, George, and a program begun by David Brinkley, with George Will and, of course, soon Cokie Roberts.
All I can say is, you’re doing a great job, so keep going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: We also have unique perspectives on the nation and the world from contributing analyst George Will, “Washington Post” executive editor Ben Bradley, “Wall Street Journal” correspondent Karen Elliott House commentator (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: There you see the first roundtable on the first broadcast of “This Week” 40 years ago, November 15, 1981. We’re proud to carry on the mission launched by David Brinkley that Sunday morning.
Here’s a look back at four decades of “This Week.”
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News in Washington, “This Week” with David Brinkley.
DAVID BRINKLEY, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning. We’re glad to have you with us. We have a new Sunday program for you which we hope you will find useful.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The show itself is supposed to be a forum, and what “This Week” has always been is a forum for civic civil debate based on facts, to hold public figures accountable, hold politicians and administration officials, members of Congress accountable for the decisions they’re making every day in our name.
You were against the mandate during the campaign.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Yeah.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George.
BRINKLEY: You do have some explaining to do if the polls mean anything.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: I sure do.
COOKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Is it possible that you could have affected the policy if you had spoken up sooner instead of just going along?
THEN-SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): Let me be very specific, the answer is yes, we could have.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC ‘THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: We all get a chance to ask the tough questions of candidates, to ask the tough questions of policymakers in our country.
The president of the United States is accusing the former president of wiretapping him.
SARAH SANDERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that this is, again, something that if this happened, Martha —
RADDATZ: If, if, if, if.
KARL: We put the key questions, the central questions to the candidates themselves and to the people behind the candidates.
Could you be taken seriously as a presidential candidate?
DONALD TRUMP, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think I’ve built a great, great company.
BRINKLEY: Let me just ask you more about the draft business because people are talking about that.
ROBERTS: On the tax pledge —
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Yeah.
ROBERTS: — would you take it again?
SAM DONALDSON, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Those of us that live and work in Washington are always accused of being two inside the Beltway, but on this program, we’ve tried to set our sights beyond the Potomac.
RADDATZ: We’ve anchored this program from countless locations around the world.
I’m Martha Raddatz in Baghdad.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live here in Cairo.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m just back from that interview with President Putin at the site of the Sochi Olympics.
ROBERTS: We’re here at the historic governor’s mansion in Des Moines.
RADDATZ: We join you this morning from Boulder, Colorado, after spending the week on a cross-country road trip speaking with voters across the nation.
I hear people talk all the time about, I don’t know why this person is a better candidate than the other person, and I think that’s a role “This Week” plays so well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the program took shape, so eventually did our Sunday morning family.
BRINKLEY: There were three people, and each of us is quite different. Donaldson has made quite a reputation for himself by being an aggressive reporter which he is, because some of his questions I wouldn’t want to ask, but I don’t mind hearing the answers.
DONALDSON: I get to ask the questions. You’re right. You can give whatever answer you want. But my question is, do you want to ban abortion?
BRINKLEY: George Will is extremely bright and quite conservative, and you can always count on him for some kind of thoughtful point of view about whatever the topic is.
ROBERTS: George, what is the annotations.
GEORGE WILL, FORMER ABC ANALYST: I can do dramatic reading.
ROBERTS: That will be instructed.
RADDATZ: Oh my gosh. Cokie Roberts is irreplaceable. She brought such a wealth of knowledge.
ROBERTS: Here on our news set, a new program, a lot of familiar faces.
DONALDSON: That’s right. It looks new, but folks, it’s kind of old in a way too.
RADDATZ: Particularly when Cokie was on the anchor desk, as a woman, she could ask different kinds of questions and bring back to the viewers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normalize is a bold term. What’s your definition of the term?
DONALDSON: I don’t know.
ROBERTS: I think most women have a — know it when they see it, Senator.
KARL: The role of the anchor of “This Week” is to encapsulate what has just happened. What has dominated the week and what is going to be driving the following week?
RADDATZ: It is a huge responsibility, and I think about it every day when I come in to not only prepare for the show, but to sit in that anchor chair and hopefully ask the questions that our viewers need to hear.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Having the chance to follow in the footsteps of David Brinkley is just such a privilege and he set the toward. I had three first appearances on “This Week.” The first one was in July of 1992 during the Clinton campaign where I was grilled by Sam Donaldson and George Will.
DONALDSON: What do you look as good now without Perot in the race, as it did to your strategists when you thought it might be a three-man race?
STEPHANOPOULOS: It looks better than ever.
Then in 1997, I joined “This Week” as an analyst, and I was a friendly sparring partner with Bill Kristol.
ROBERTS: Welcome, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hi, (INAUDIBLE). Good to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Bill Crystal. I feel like, you know, you’ve been left out of all of this discussion of George joining this. And we’re really glad you’re here, Bill.
CRYSTAL: Well, thank you, (INAUDIBLE).
STEPHANOPOULOS: And in 2002, I took over the anchor chair, and I was very grateful to my daughter Elliott. She came early so that I was able to anchor that week.
Welcome to our program, and our first guest, the president’s national security adviser, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’ll be back shortly with our free for all discussion here in the studio.
KARL: The roundtable has played a central role in THIS WEEK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to our round table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Sam (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re glad to have you.
Now, that may be the last kind word anyone says to you today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s more than I expected.
KARL: You’re there to providing some analysis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a simple question for each of you. Very, very simple. Why?
How would you characterize President Clinton’s start?
Do you need all these polls?
BRAZILE: I look at this poll — and, George, I don’t like to read polls in the morning without wine, but —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wine in the morning?
BRAZILE: Well, I’m from Louisiana, I —
KARL: The roundtable is almost always unpredictable, which is why I believe it is always must-see television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I have lost control of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are probably dozens of people in Dallas alone who don’t read your magazine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let’s — wait, I don’t like the way this conversation is going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back in the wrong direction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great achievement —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I — wait a second — just one final thing, because I do have a great achievement.
EMANUEL: That may be true, but my point is —
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know what, you can’t make the last point because we’re out of time.
EMANUEL: You guys can all go. We’re going to sit here and talk.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now more than ever we need shows like THIS WEEK where people can know that they’re going to come and get information, real information about the decisions politicians and policymakers are making every single day that affect their lives. That tradition is going to continue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For all of us at ABC News, until next week, thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How great to see David Brinkley right there. What a privilege to be a part of this program for the last 25 years.
We’ll be right back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us these last four decades. Check out “WORLD NEWS TONIGHT” and I’ll see you tomorrow on “GMA.”